Many adults suffer from a bulging disc or other type of chronic neck or back pain at some point in their lifetime. In fact, eight out of ten adults have reported experiencing some level of neck or back pain. While this pain can sometimes be caused by a minor injury, like a strained muscle or a slight “tweak” in your neck or back, sometimes this pain can be an indication of a more serious injury, like a bulging disc.
Whether you have already been diagnosed with a bulging disc or you suspect you may have one, there are some things you can do at home that may help ease the neck or back pain you are experiencing. Try these simple therapies and stretches to help reduce the pain and symptoms of a bulging disc. If you feel an increase in pain during or immediately after any of these treatments, stop and contact your doctor. These exercises are not suitable for everyone and you should always ask your doctor before trying any new treatment or therapy for neck or back pain.
Therapies for bulging disc home treatment
One of the easiest and most effective bulging disc home treatments you can try to ease your neck or back pain is to simply rest.
Rest can allow your spine to relieve the pressure on the bulging disc and reduce the aggravation. For neck pain, try lying on your back with a pillow at the base of your head. If this is still uncomfortable, shift the pillow until you find a position that seems to relieve the pain. For back pain, try lying on your back with a pillow under your head and another pillow under your knees. This will help your back stay straight, which may ease the pressure on the bulging disc and the pinched nerve. You can also lie on your side with a pillow between your legs to help relieve any lower back pain.
While some rest can be an effective bulging disc home treatment, too much rest can actually worsen your condition. A bulging disc in the back, for example, can begin the healing process once the muscles surrounding the spine begin to take some of the pressure off of the damaged disc. Resting does not strengthen the muscles and can actually cause them to weaken, placing even more pressure on the bulging disc and pinched nerve root.
Stretches and exercises for bulging disc home treatment
If you are searching for bulging disc home treatment for lower back pain, stretches may be a great option to help you find relief. Stretches can simultaneously help lengthen and strengthen your spine and the surrounding muscles, both of which benefit the healing of a bulging disc.
Try these stretches at home to help ease your back pain:
- Knee to chest stretch — Lie flat on your back with your legs extended and your arms resting by your sides. Slowly, bend your right knee and bring it toward your chest, keeping your shoulders flat on the floor. By keeping your shoulders flat, you are keeping your back straight, which helps lengthen your spine. If necessary, grab your right knee with your hands and help pull it into your chest. Likely, your knee will not be able to fully reach your chest, so stop when the muscle strain becomes uncomfortable. Hold this for 10 – 15 seconds. Repeat with the left side.
- Pelvic lift — Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground, as though you are getting ready to do a sit-up. With your arms resting at your sides, press your feet firmly into the floor and lift your pelvis up toward the ceiling. Only your feet, shoulders and head should be touching the floor at this time. Hold this for 5 – 10 seconds. Return your pelvis to the floor. Repeat five times.
- Walk — Going for a walk is one of the best things to do for bulging disc pain. This low-impact activity will help loosen the muscles around your spine while still strengthening the core muscles to help ease the pressure on your bulging disc. You may not be able to walk too far without pain, so go at your own pace and stop when necessary. Try to go for two or three walks per day to help your back pain.
If you are still suffering from chronic neck or back pain from a bulging disc even after a week or more of home treatments, you should schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor. There are many other nonsurgical treatments available to help reduce bulging disc symptoms, and your doctor can help you find a treatment plan for your specific needs.